If lyricism, rhythm, and soulful writing are your cup of tea, then this edition of You Gotta Love This Writing with Lauren Carter will broaden your writing horizons.
Our special guest is Canadian author and writing coach Lauren Carter. Lauren’s wisdom and many years of writing are reflected in works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and publications in diverse literary, print, and online media, including Malahat Reviews, Prairie Fire, Room Magazine.
Lauren is the author of Lichen Bright, a collection of poetry, and Swarm, which originated from a thesis manuscript that she turned into a gripping fiction novel. Swarm received rave reviews from Publishers Weekly, The Toronto Star, and The Winnipeg Review.
She is also a creative coach and offers a series of freelance services including writing coaching, consultation, and workshops. Her website, Lauren Carter, Writer & Creative Coach, is listed as one of the “100 Best Websites for Writers” according to The Write Life.
We are fortunate and thankful for having Lauren and learning a little bit about her expertise.
Are you ready to dig into a full-blown, deep writing experience? Lauren shares her valuable resources, in her own words . . .
You Gotta Love This Writing With Lauren Carter
1. Nine Simple Steps to a Solid Writing Practice
Sometimes the hardest step is the first one. I created this online self-directed video course to help writers carve out space to write—even if only for ten minutes at a time. In ten short videos, I talk about the personal lessons in creating I’ve learned in my own life—including witnessing the powerful step my mother took to start painting after a devastating car accident. The “Nine Simple Steps to a Solid Writing Practice” course has been called “visually beautiful and wise” and has helped many stop procrastinating and quietly start answering that urgent need to write.
2. Freedom App
We all know how the black hole of the Internet can suck us in for hours—especially when that super-challenging scene is waiting to be written . . . Freedom is an app that locks you off the Internet for however long you set it. The only way to reset so you can check your email or Instagram is to restart your computer or phone, and who wants to do that? I use it often when I’m in the midst of tough work that needs intense focus but that’s also tempting to avoid.
3. Eric Maisel
When I was struggling with creative anxiety and thinking I was the only artist to ever be gripped by such insecurity, I googled and found Eric Maisel. A psychologist, creativity coach, and writer, he has written more than thirty books that delve into the artistic process and its naturally accompanying perils: procrastination, depression, anxiety, et cetera. Fearless Creating, the first of his titles that I read, helped me finish my debut novel and taught me so much about doing the work despite shaky nerves. I’ve studied with Eric in my own coaching practice and am thrilled to see he’s now offering his exceptional Deep Writing workshops online (he leads them in person around the world; I took an enriching one with him in his home city of San Francisco).
4. Inked Voices
If you’re isolated—either because writing is a secret passion or you live far from a city—you need Inked Voices. This bustling online writers’ community is full of critique and accountability groups that you can join and also offers online workshops, expert talks by agents, authors, and others, and even member readings! There’s a 14-day free trial to check it out, but after that, the affordable fee to join ensures that those in the space are serious about their work—and helps to fund the work toward making it a rewarding, rich, and active space.
5. McNally Robinson Booksellers
As a kid, I loved wandering the stacks at my local library, randomly pulling out titles, and discovering books that became favorites. It helped make me a writer! I haven’t lost this pleasure and regularly haul home piles of novels, memoirs, and nonfiction titles borrowed from the library or purchased while attending a reading at McNally Robinson, my local independent bookstore. Both of these types of venues seem constantly under threat, so they need the support of our wallets and our presence! Because, as we all know, as writers, we must read!
6. Literary Journals
Like many writers, I got my start in small magazines and journals, clutching my handy copy of Writer’s Market and sending out work with a SASE (remember those? That’s a self-addressed, stamped envelope for any Millennials out there). Things have, of course, changed, with lots of journals popping up online but the principle remains the same: submitting to journals helps get your work in front of other people’s eyes and publication can be a real boost to the creative drive, not to mention a little bit of cash, in some cases. In order to “give back,” I sit on the board of directors of the excellent literary journal, Prairie Fire, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and accepts submissions and subscribers from around the world.
Lauren Carter is the author of Swarm, a novel described as being “imbued with dark lyricism and a disturbingly credible view of the end of the world” by Booklist and the poetry collection, Lichen Bright. Her second novel—This Has Nothing To Do With You—will be published in Fall 2019 by Freehand Press, and her second collection of poetry, Following Sea, will appear in February 2019. She lives near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where she teaches writing and works as a proofreader while at work on a third novel and a short story collection.